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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Stitches may need to be removed in 3 to 14 days depending on the location of your wound. Your healthcare provider will use sterile forceps or tweezers to pick up the knot of each stitch. He will cut the stitch with scissors and pull the stitch out. You may feel a slight tug as the stitch comes out. He may place small steristrips across your wound after the stitches have been removed. These pieces of tape will peel and fall of on their own. Do not pull them off.
Return to the emergency department if:
- Your wound splits open.
- You suddenly cannot move your injured joint.
- You have sudden numbness around your wound.
- You see red streaks coming from your wound.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever and chills.
- Your wound is red, warm, swollen, or leaking pus.
- There is a bad smell coming from your wound.
- You have increased pain in the wound area.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Care for your wound:
- Clean your wound as directed. Carefully wash your wound with soap and water. Pat the area dry with a clean towel.
- Protect your wound. Your wound can swell, bleed, or split open if it is stretched or bumped. You may need to wear a bandage that supports your wound until it is completely healed.
- Minimize your scar. Use sunblock if your wound is exposed to the sun. Apply it every day after the stitches are removed. This will help prevent skin discoloration.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You may need to return in 3 to 5 days if the stitches are on your face. Stitches on your scalp need to be removed after 7 to 14 days. Stitches over joints may remain in place up to 14 days. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.